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PD Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down

  • UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike douses student demonstrators with pepper spray. (WAYNE TILCOCK / Davis Enterprise)

Just who was the victim here?

The image is as unforgettable as it is disturbing: A helmeted police officer spraying a stream of caustic pepper spray into the eyes of student demonstrators protesting tuition increases at UC Davis. It wasn't suprising that the students sued and received settlements from the University of California. But this is surprising: A larger amount is being paid to John Pike, the former UC police lieutenant who sprayed the students.

UC officials acknowledged last week that Pike will be paid $38,000 to settle a worker's comp claim for damage to his “psyche” from the incident and the outpouring of public disgust that followed. Each of the 21 students received $30,000. Something seems backwards here.

Saving water in case of a drought

It rained early and often last fall, but it got dry, very dry in the winter and spring, causing serious concerns about the water supply for Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Sonoma County Water Agency officials urged residents to conserve water this summer, and it looks as if people listened. A Water Agency report issued last week said Lake Sonoma is at 77 percent of its water supply capacity. The figures were 35 percent and 29 percent respectively for Lake Mendocino and Lake Pillsbury, the region's other major reservoirs. Those levels are adequate to avoid a reduction in Russian River stream flows — for now. What's really needed, however, is normal rainfall this winter.

Feeding at the public trough

The Bell corruption scandal reached its final phase on Wednesday with the trial of Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia. The issue before L.A. jurors is whether Spaccia was the ringleader behind a scam to bolster the pay and pensions of top city officials or she was just doing the bidding of City Manager Robert Rizzo. From our view, it doesn't matter. They all deserve lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key treatment.

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